Changing your work-life to welcome more freedom and fulfillment is a process and a journey. Here, every month, we will share stories of women who are doing it. Real stories, real transformation. This is a virtual treasure chest -- full of the challenges, struggles, lessons and insights of others -- which you can use to enrich your own path.
This month’s featured “woman on purpose” is Frederique Boni, a former Program Officer in an International Organization /Centered around funding health program worldwide/Managing the funding and the program and traveling in Central and West Africa. She’s currently CEO/Founder of N2Bliss Productions, a music management company based in Lyon-FR.
Describe the big shift you’ve made in your work-life. What led you to that change?
In 2014, I switched careers from international aid to the music industry. After nearly 15 years of extensive traveling in Europe, Central and West Africa, a stagnating career, and my health taking a toll from all this intense traveling, I decided to return to my true love: Music. It was also time for me to work on something that was more meaningful and to be around creative people. Therefore after 6 years in Geneva-Switzerland, I decided it was time for a clean slate in my life. So, I moved to Lyon, in the South of France, and started my music management company.
What were you most fearful of in making that change?
Free falling. This career switch meant many positive aspects for me: working my own hours, being my own boss, and choosing who I want to work with. However, I was entering an area which I was somewhat familiar with, yet I had no expertise whatsoever. I was also getting out of my comfort zone, as I had no network in the music industry to begin with, and had to build my life in a new city and a totally new network. And the most fearful factor for me was not having a regular income and the material ease I was accustomed to. I was also afraid that I would not gain recognition in this field and just fail at setting up a sustainable business.
How is your experience of life different now?
I am happy and aligned with what I truly am and always wanted to do. I am my own boss. I work my own hours. I get to choose who I work with and how. I get to meet some really talented people, take part in their creative process, and promote all that in order to boost their musical careers. I am free to make my own decisions, but I am also fully responsible for their consequences/outcomes. I feel empowered, wholesome, healthy, and energetic! Everytime I go to a concert for work, the magic sets in and reminds me why my change of careers was a positive one.
What’s your biggest concern in this moment?
My biggest concern at the moment is the sustainability of my business. With the lack of regular income in an industry that is fast-paced, and where trends can change at the click of a Youtube video, it is always difficult to predict how the artists I work with will evolve. It is also difficult to plan financially in the long term. And the time factor is also crucial! I can’t be in 3 places at the same time.
What are you most excited about going forward?
I’m very excited to see 2 bands I have worked with getting radio play, bigger venues, and bigger fan bases after 2 years of collaboration. I am also excited about working with 2 new bands/artists that already have notoriety and large fan bases. This will help me jump into the fun part of the music business: dealing with labels, distributors, tour managers, and producers. I am also excited about working with venues and festivals outside of France.
If you could travel back in time, what’s one piece of advice that your current self wishes that you could tell your former self?
Don’t be afraid to be who you are and do what you love. Enjoy life!
Frederique holds a Master’s Degree in International Development Studies from the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs. She has worked in NGO’s, Charities, and UN agencies from 2001 to 2014, as a Project Coordinator and Program Officer in education and health. In 2014, she founded her own business in music management, N2Bliss Productions, based in Lyon-France.